What is indexing?
Indexing is the process of creating a list of terms that enables people to locate concepts in a text. The indexer analyses the text and constructs a ‘map’ to the text for the reader. The ‘About indexing’ page of the website of the Society of Indexers provides some more information.
Can a computer not create an index automatically?
Computer-generated indexes can be created, but human intervention produces a far better product. Human indexers can enter concepts that are only implied in the text, decide how to approach synonyms, provide cross-references, and decide on appropriate subheadings as needed. This blog post by Dorothea Salo explores the issue some more.
Do you use software to help you create an index?
I use SKY Index Professional. This software makes it easy to format the index according to the publisher’s specifications.
Where can I find more information on indexing?
Have a look at the websites of these indexing societies:
Society of Indexers (SI) (UK)
Indexing Society of Canada / Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI)
American Society for Indexing (ASI)